2014 Austin MotoGP Bridgestone Tire Analysis
When the 21-lap MotoGP began at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas, drama struck. Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo, who crashed out of the opening round at Qatar on the first lap, jumped the start.
Due to this, Lorenzo got out front first, but suffered a ride-through penalty; he would eventually finish 10th. This meant the rider who got off the line behind Lorenzo – Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez – was the leader from the beginning of the race.
And Marquez would keep that lead for all 21 laps, capping off a perfect weekend at Austin’s COTA. The reigning MotoGP Champion led all practice/warm-up sessions, and qualified on pole.
Marquez – the only rider to use a hard rear Bridgestone slick tire – would consistently lap in the 2:03 bracket, and finish 4.124 seconds ahead of his teammate Dani Pedrosa. Taking third, and the first podium for Ducati this season, was Andrea Dovizioso, who finished over 20 seconds behind.
With his wins in two of 18 rounds, Marquez has a 14-point lead over Pedrosa, with Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi, who finished eighth at COTA, is 22 points behind.
Following is some Bridgestone analysis from Circuit of the Americas:
Intermittent rain fell earlier in the day but track conditions were dry for the race, although track temperatures were considerably lower than yesterday. The peak track temperature during the race was 33°C, 10 degrees cooler than yesterday afternoon.
The medium compound rear slick was the preferred race option, with 16 of the 23 riders on the grid selecting this option, while six Open-class riders selected the soft compound rear slick. In similar fashion to the season-opener in Qatar, only race winner Marquez selected the hard compound rear slick. All riders selected the medium compound front slick for the race. The improved track conditions compared to last year resulted in quicker race pace this year, with Marquez setting a new Circuit Record Lap time of 2:03.575 on lap three, while the overall race time was nine seconds quicker than last year.
Hiroshi Yamada (Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tire Development Division) says:
“Congratulations to Marc for another victory at Circuit of the Americas and to Repsol Honda for achieving another double podium at this venue. It was also pleasing to see Ducati return to the podium, so well done to Andrea and the team for their fantastic result today.
“I was sorry to see Cal crash and injure himself during the race and I want to wish him a full and speedy recovery. I hope that the exciting start to the season continues when we visit the Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo in a couple of weeks’ time, and I look forward to returning to the United States for the Indianapolis Grand Prix in August.”
Masao Azuma (Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tire Development Division) says: “Conditions were much cooler today for the race but track conditions were good, which resulted in the race being run at a very quick pace. Only Marquez selected the harder rear slick for the race and it worked well for him, and all three rear slick options were utilized in the race.
“As expected the whole of the grid selected the medium compound option, yet during the race some riders experienced higher levels of front tire abrasion than was seen during practice and qualifying. We will now analyze the tires to work out what were the contributing factors that resulted in the high levels of wear that occurred during the race.”
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V) says: “I’m really happy with this victory, it was a different kind of race for me as I’ve never led a MotoGP race from start to finish, so it was a bit strange and it was hard to keep my concentration. It was great to get the twenty-five points today, but I know the next races will be more challenging as this is one of my favourite circuits and today was one of my easier victories.”
- Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft & Medium; Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
- Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main) & Hard (Alternative)
- Weather: Dry. Ambient 26-27°C; Track 32-33°C (Bridgestone measurement)